Take a look at that cover. Do you think this is a happy story? Or do you think something sinister is going on? Sinister it is! My ARC cover is different from the finished product, but the finished cover got my attention. A dagger between two innocent looking women, there has to be a story there. I'm going to have to buy the finished product just to get that cover.
They say everyone has a twin out there. I personally would be scared to meet another person like me (I can be a little testy sometimes). Would you embrace that person if you ever got the chance to meet? The Sexton family in The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted chose to embrace a long-lost twin.
One day, teenage Lucy Sexton opens the door to a woman who looks like her mother Aliese, but the shabbily dressed woman isn't her mother is she? After all how can Lucy not recognize her own mother? Aliese is a woman of high-social standing, and she wouldn't be caught dead dressed like a beggar. The woman in the shabby gray dress is Helen Smythe, Aliese's identical twin. The sight of Helen causes Aliese to faint. For her entire life, Aliese has lived under the guise that she was born into a wealthy family, when in fact Aliese and Helen are the biological children of a maid. Aliese was adopted by a family of means, while Helen lived in poverty in an orphanage.
Despite coming from two different worlds, Aliese wants a relationship with her sister -- as long as her sister can be molded into a proper lady. Aliese and her husband, Frederick, make it their mission to change Helen. Soon Helen's speech and dress are almost identical to Aliese, so much that even Lucy has a hard time telling them apart. Lucy has grown to love Aunt Helen. She can relate to Aunt Helen on a level that she can't with her mother. Both are still learning what is proper and what isn't. There is more freedom for Lucy to express herself with Aunt Helen, more of a big sister than an aunt.
It all comes crashing down with a horrible murder. If you call this next tidbit a spoiler, then stop reading...
You've been warned...
I've changed my mind, I don't think it's too "spoilery" (is that a word?) to say that one of the twins is murdered. In fact it's not a spoiler at all, since the jacket copy hints at it any way. Which one I won't tell you. But Lauren Baratz-Logsted will keep you guessing. One moment you think you've got it figured out, and then the story flips. The entire novel is told from Lucy's point of view, and right along with Lucy I'm wondering which twin is still alive. There is a motive on both sides. Helen gains instant social standing by pretending to be her sister. Aliese can get rid of person she doesn't like anymore.
The first half of the novel moved a little slow for me. I kept wondering when is the juicy part coming. When is the cover image going to come to fruition? The first half had me thinking I was reading a sweet family story. I was kind of "Meh," until the murder occurs. Is that bad of me? I wanted the blood and gore, and the not the family stuff. But after that, I was hooked. With each chapter there are clues to the truth. It turns from family drama to a suspenseful whodunit!
Rating: Superb (The ending swayed me big time!)
Notes: I received a copy of the book from the publisher as part of a blog tour. For more information on auther Lauren Baratz-Logsted visit: http://www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com/index.html
Ode to HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary E. Pearson
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